Monthly Archives: December 2019

Understanding Drywall Finish Levels and Needs, Part 1

When it comes to the installation of new drywall in any home or building, one of the most important factors to consider is the drywall finish. The drywall finishing process refers to applying paper or fiberglass tape over the joints between drywall pieces, then covering these with additional drywall compound to keep the entire structure secure.

At Blue Dawn Drywall, we’ll be happy to explain the finishing process and various finish levels to you for any of our drywall installations or painting needs. In this two-part blog, we’ll go over the general levels available for drywall finish, a higher level that’s become much more in-demand over recent years, plus how to choose which you need based on price, quality and other important factors.

drywall finish levels needs

General Drywall Finish Levels

There are a variety of drywall finishes out there, and which you choose will depend on the stage of your project and your eventual needs. Here are the basic levels you can find when it comes to the grading of drywall finish:

  • Level 0: As the title implies, this is a scenario where the drywall is only hung up, and no finishing has been done. Level 0 is generally only used as a temporary situation while a decision is made on the final finishing type.
  • Level 1: This is a point where drywall joint tape has been embedded in the joint, but has not been covered with drywall or any other material. It can be used for unseen areas like attics and access corridors.
  • Level 2: Level 2 drywall finish involves a joint compound that’s been skimmed over the tape and any screw holes, offering a minor cover. For areas covered with tile or other materials, such as garages or parking areas, level 2 is often used.
  • Level 3: An extra coat of joint compound will be applied to the tape and screws, generally for use in walls with knockdown or other heavy textures.
  • Level 4: The standard finish for most home drywall areas is level 4, which involves a third coat of joint compound that’s been not only applied to the tape and screws, but also scraped and then sanded when it dries. For visible areas or those with wall coverings, level 4 is the way to go.
  • Level 5: Details in our next section.

How Level 5 Drywall Finish Differs

The highest grade of drywall finish available, and also the one that takes the most time and expertise, is level 5. This requires rolling or spraying a coat of joint compound on top of the level 4 finish – when dry, this coat will be smoothed and lightly sanded.

The goal with level 5 drywall finish is to achieve a smooth, aesthetically pleasing wall that will be protected at all times. It’s important to note that the steps for level 4 finishing must be carried out effectively for level 5 skim coats to have an impact; badly-done drywall will still have seams or tape bubbles even if level 5 coating is applied.

For more on level 5 drywall and when you might need it, or to learn about any of our drywall, basement finishing or other services, speak to the staff at Blue Dawn Drywall today.